As hard as it might be to believe, especially considering what you hear on the radio these days, there was a time when a transistor radio was all you needed to hear a whole range of interesting music. During the daylight hours it would pick up your local AM radio station which played music from across North America ranging from the latest release by Alice Cooper to the new Barry White single.
At nights, especially on a clear cold night in winter, you could pick up radio signals from as far off as Chicago and Detroit while lying in bed in your house in Ottawa, Canada. You could fall asleep listening to the sounds of Motown, Chicago blues, soul, and classic rhythm and blues (R & B). Of course, those were the days long before the night sky was filled with the senseless chatter of cell phones and broadcast information from countless communication satellites.
It was on one such clear, cold, night around thirty-five years ago that I first heard the high clear voice that I would forever associate with the band Earth, Wind & Fire. I don't know if it was the year that "Shining Star" was a hit, but I'll never forget the first time I ever heard the band that Maurice White founded. There was something close to magical about the sound of those harmonies issuing out of my radio in the dark of the night; like they were a star shining for me in my bedroom.
One of the things that always pissed me off about the Disco era was how bands like Earth, Wind, and Fire seemed to disappear from the radio. Even though their music had to be some of the most danceable I'd ever heard. It somehow didn't seem to satisfy whatever it was the disco bunnies wanted from their music. Maybe it was the fact that Earth, Wind & Fire sang songs that might make you think and feel while disco's sole object seemed to be to render its listeners into unfeeling drones.